Egyptian Blogger Imprisoned for Facebook Comment on Hunger Strike

Download PDF

Image via Facebook

An honest voice of the Egyptian uprising is in danger of being silenced unless the Egyptian government listens to domestic and international pressure to release  prisoner of conscience Maikel Nabil Sanad.

Sanad, whose Facebook postings criticized abuses by the Egyptian military, began a hunger strike on Aug. 23. This week, his family told Amnesty International that his health has greatly deteriorated.

The blogger started the hunger strike to protest his detention in an Egyptian prison north of Cairo. Sanad was arrested on March 28 at his home in Cairo, tried in a military court on April 10 and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for publicly insulting the army through comments he made on Facebook, and for allegedly spreading lies and rumors about the armed forces on his blog.

He is one of thousands of Egyptians tried for political activity before military courts since the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak.  Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

At first Sanad refused to eat but continued to drink water and take his medication. His family says that from today he will no longer take water or medication. He had chronic health conditions, his family says, that are worsening during his detention.  Prison officials have blocked his family from visits, telling them he doesn’t want to see them.  They think prison officials are attempting to prevent them from learning that he is ill or that he is being ill-treated.

Egyptians have rallied to support Sanad and many others who are speaking out publicly of their concerns about the pace of Egyptian reform.

Like Sanad, many of the activists know what they risk.  Long before his arrest, Sanad told friends that he expected to be arrested for his criticisms of the military.  And yet, these activists continue to bravely speak out, demonstrate in public and dare the military to arrest them all.  What they continue to ask for us is that we stand in solidarity with them.

Take action to help Maikel Nabil Sanad 

• Call for Maikel Nabil Sanad’s immediate and unconditional release;
• Urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure that Maikel Nabil Sanad receives adequate medical care;
• Call on the Egyptian authorities to try any civilian charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offense promptly in a civilian court in line with fair trial standards, and not in military courts, or release them.

Please write letters and send faxes to:

Military General Attorney
Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT
Fax: 011 202 2 412 0980 (ask for fax)
Salutation: Dear General Attorney

Director of Military Judiciary
Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT
Fax: 011 202 2 402 4468 OR 011 202 2 411
3452
Salutation: Dear Director

Download the Urgent Action (PDF) for more details.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

12 thoughts on “Egyptian Blogger Imprisoned for Facebook Comment on Hunger Strike

  1. What was the point of the revolution if the power was given to those who are just as unfair and abusive? Was it a fake revolution instigated by the military then? It was strange how the power was just handed to the military as a monopoly without any checks & balances at all!!!

  2. Dear Maria …

    Some revolutions topple tyrants, some change whole systems.

    Egypt's was the first kind.

    The sytem's still there, & that's what the People are trying to change now.

    All revolutions come in stages.

    So …. they take time.

    The point of the revolution ?

    The sharpening of the People's powers.

    To accomplish the kind of Change you want.

  3. What was the point of the revolution if the power was given to those who are just as unfair and abusive? Was it a fake revolution instigated by the military then? It was strange how the power was just handed to the military as a monopoly without any checks & balances at all!!!

  4. Maria, your comment is one that is being asked a lot. I agree with much of what a.savage says in response. Let me add this: No change ever happens in a straight line.

    The time from Jan. 25 to Sept. 1 is a comparatively short time. I think the Egyptian Uprising is in the right direction mainly because the popular dynamics haven't significantly changed. People are still standing up to the power that abuses them, are willing to be arrested for it, as this story of Maikal Sanad shows. For more than a decade, all reform in Egypt has come not from external pressure but from the internal activism of the people.

    Our job is to support them and let them know they are not alone. As long as the people of Egypt are willing to claim the rights that belong to them, the Uprising is headed, albeit slowly, in the right direction.

  5. Dear Maria …

    Some revolutions topple tyrants, some change whole systems.

    Egypt’s was the first kind.

    The sytem’s still there, & that’s what the People are trying to change now.

    All revolutions come in stages.

    So …. they take time.

    The point of the revolution ?

    The sharpening of the People’s powers.

    To accomplish the kind of Change you want.

  6. Maria, your comment is one that is being asked a lot. I agree with much of what a.savage says in response. Let me add this: No change ever happens in a straight line.

    The time from Jan. 25 to Sept. 1 is a comparatively short time. I think the Egyptian Uprising is in the right direction mainly because the popular dynamics haven’t significantly changed. People are still standing up to the power that abuses them, are willing to be arrested for it, as this story of Maikal Sanad shows. For more than a decade, all reform in Egypt has come not from external pressure but from the internal activism of the people.

    Our job is to support them and let them know they are not alone. As long as the people of Egypt are willing to claim the rights that belong to them, the Uprising is headed, albeit slowly, in the right direction.

  7. Mr Mock,

    You said it … change doesn't come in a straight line.

    Zigzags, actually … often jumps right back…to where it started.

    Plus it'll be mostly uphill for a time … old order won't want to give way to the new.

    Revolution & counterrevolution …. locked in confrontation in Egypt.

  8. Mr Mock,

    You said it … change doesn’t come in a straight line.

    Zigzags, actually … often jumps right back…to where it started.

    Plus it’ll be mostly uphill for a time … old order won’t want to give way to the new.

    Revolution & counterrevolution …. locked in confrontation in Egypt.